How Landscaping Can Enhance the Exterior of Your Home

A well-manicured landscape is a selling feature that sets a home apart. Landscaping Harrisburg PA can also increase its value. Landscaping is a branch of landscape architecture, the artful manipulation of plants and terrain to create pleasing aesthetics. It requires excellent problem-solving skills.

LandscapingThe addition of plants, changes to the existing terrain, and construction of structures are all considered part of landscaping.

Plants provide a broad range of functions, from creating visual control to screening or buffering noise and providing privacy. They also help to shape the environment by stabilizing soil and reducing erosion, and they are essential to the health of ecosystems. Plants are natural air purifiers and provide food for wildlife. They can even mitigate pollution by absorbing, filtering, or degrading contaminants such as petroleum byproducts, solvents, pesticides and heavy metals.

When designing a landscape, the choice of plant material is crucial for its aesthetics and function. The right plants in the proper places can enhance the architectural character of a building, reduce maintenance requirements and costs, and contribute to a healthy and sustainable landscape.

The four primary building blocks of landscaping are lines, form, texture, and color. Lines and shapes can accentuate or contrast with a structure’s architectural features, create a focal point, and add depth to the landscape. Form and texture can define a planting zone or create an organized pattern, whereas color is the most visually dramatic element of the landscape. It is important to consider the changing conditions of the site, such as shade and sun exposure, when selecting plants.

A landscape’s ability to provide functional benefits can have a direct impact on the cost and maintenance of the property. For example, native plants are adapted to the local climate and may require less maintenance than exotic species. They can also provide habitat for wildlife and promote biodiversity. They can also reduce stormwater runoff and pollution and absorb fertilizers, preventing them from reaching water bodies.

A landscape’s visual comfort can be enhanced with plants that can screen unwanted views, such as trash bins and utility infrastructure, or reduce glare from sunlight by shading sidewalks, patios and parking lots. Landscapes that feature flowing plants are perceived as more desirable than those with straight, neatly mowed grass. However, research shows that even small (less than a quarter of an acre) patches of native plants can be considered attractive if they display “cues to care” and are maintained regularly. This includes keeping the plants trimmed and free of debris.

  1. Water Features

Water features are a great way to add interest and texture to your landscape. They also complement any type of design style and can be created with a variety of materials. They can range from swimming pools to fountains. When designing a water feature, it is important to consider the site, water source and the surrounding landscaping. The best water features meld seamlessly with the overall landscape design and reflect the local environment. They should be a focal point that draws the eye and creates a unique atmosphere.

A water feature is a beautiful addition to any backyard, but it can also help with water conservation. It reduces the need for irrigation by allowing plants to get the moisture they need through naturally occurring evaporation. It can also be used to recycle water by reusing rainwater or wastewater from your home’s drainage system.

In addition to adding beauty to your landscape, water features can also provide a relaxing escape from the daily stresses of life. The soothing sounds of flowing water have been proven to decrease stress and increase relaxation. In fact, many spas and places of natural healing use the sound of water to calm the soul. Having a water feature in your own garden can make you feel as though you are truly on vacation.

Adding a water feature to your landscape can also attract wildlife. Birds, butterflies and other critters are drawn to the movement and sounds of water, providing a fun and educational experience for your family. Water features can also create a habitat for fish and frogs, further enhancing the beauty of your landscape.

Water features can be a great addition to any property, but they are especially useful in small spaces where traditional landscape elements may not fit. A small pond or even a simple wall fountain is an excellent solution to maximize the space you have and still provide visual and auditory interest. Pondless water features are another great option for homeowners who want the benefits of a water feature but don’t have much space. These pondless options recirculate the water, meaning they require less maintenance and are safe for children.

  1. Hardscapes

A hardscape is a non-living element within a landscape that is made of man-made materials like bricks, stones, concrete and wood. These structures create structure and add functionality to outdoor spaces. They also complement and support softscapes (plants).

When properly designed, a hardscape can provide an attractive focal point in a landscape. For instance, a pond with flowing water or an attractive stone fountain can draw the eye and make people want to visit your home and garden. A walkway that’s constructed of natural stones, gravel or pavers is another great way to add a hardscape element and improve the overall aesthetic of your landscape.

Landscaping is important because it helps prevent diseases spreading to the trees and plants in your yard, stinging or allergen-producing plants coming into contact with you and your family, and unwelcome animals taking up residence in your backyard. Additionally, landscaping can protect you from falling branches or limbs during storms, prevent soil erosion, and reduce the risk of pests invading your property.

If you have a lot of landscaping work to do on your property, a professional can help plan and execute the best hardscaping projects for your landscape. A professional will be able to design a system that will keep your landscape healthy and functional for years to come.

In addition to providing visual appeal, hardscapes can increase the value of your home. A well-designed patio or pergola will make your outdoor living space a true extension of your interior living area. Plus, it will be much easier to maintain and care for your landscape with hardscaping elements.

If your landscape is on a hill or slanted part of the property, hardscapes can help stabilize and level the ground. For example, retaining walls will stop elevated soil from sliding down your slope and toward or around your house. Additionally, these features can prevent you from having to perform expensive and time-consuming landscaping tasks down the road.

  1. Lighting

Landscape lighting can dramatically improve your home’s exterior and its surrounding gardens and ponds. It helps to make the outdoor spaces more functional and inviting after dark, while adding drama and ambiance. A well-designed lighting plan can enhance the aesthetics of a yard, and a skilled landscaping professional will ensure that the lights are properly placed to achieve a desired effect.

When considering landscape lighting, it’s important to consider your specific needs and goals. For example, if you are highlighting a stone wall or planting bed, you will want to choose lights with different beam spreads and light concentrations to highlight the feature at hand.

Spotlights emit narrow, moderate- to high-intensity beams upward, making them ideal for illuminating trees and other features in your landscaping. They are also a great choice for highlighting architectural details on your home, such as a statue or a piece of garden art. Floodlights emit a wider, more diffused beam that’s perfect for illuminating large areas, such as driveways and lawns.

Backlighting is a landscape photography favorite because it creates dramatic silhouettes and is often used in conjunction with HDR techniques. It works best when the sun is just above the horizon, but can also be accomplished with natural light by positioning your subject so that it is in front of the sun.

Another option is to use grazing, in which you highlight the texture of an object by pointing your light at it from a distance. This technique can be a beautiful way to highlight your front door or a flower bed, but it’s important to remember that the light should only illuminate the feature and not cast any unwanted shadows on other elements.

To help you make the right choices for your landscaping, look at your local climate conditions to determine which plants will thrive in your area. Incorporate plants that are suited to your region into your landscaping plan, and use shade-producing trees and shrubs to deflect winter sunlight from houses or tunnel summer breezes through windows. If you live in a cold climate, consider using evergreens or conifers to add interest and structure to your landscape.